Ghana empire


Ghana empire
First of the great medieval trading empires of western Africa (7th–13th century).

Located in what is now southeastern Mauritania and part of Mali, it acted as intermediary between Arab and Berber salt traders to the north and gold and ivory producers to the south. Gold was secured through barter from those living at the empire's southern limit and exchanged in the capital for commodities, especially salt. As the empire grew richer it extended its reach, incorporating gold-producing southern lands and cities to the north. The king exacted tribute from the princes of subject tribes. Ghana began to decline with the rise of the Muslim Almoravids; the Almoravid leader Abu Bakr seized the Ghanaian capital of Kumbi in 1076. The empire's subject peoples began to break away, and in 1240 the empire's remains were incorporated into the Sundiata empire of Mali.

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Universalium. 2010.

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